Wilton has a new entrant in the marketplace for delicious treats and confections.
Melissa Stein (who also goes by her remarried name, Coppola, on social media) has launched Pearls, a sweet treat business offering everything from s’mores jars to cake pops, chocolates, krispie rings, ‘dookies’ (cookies in the shape of donuts), dipped cookies and pretzels, and much more.
Stein created Pearls in her grandmother’s memory. But Pearls was not an homage to anything she wore; Pearl was her grandmother’s name.
“Pearls is all about love and the bond that was created over baking and cooking with my grandmother,” says the introduction on the Pearls Facebook group page. “She was a fascinating woman, whose love for her family was always first. Her recipes will be used to create some of her signature treats.”
Stein told GMW, “[My grandmother] was my role model. She was amazing. I wanted to give her an honor.” Stein’s emotions quickly came to the surface when speaking of her beloved grandmother, who passed away in 2019.
Stein says two of her grandmother’s favorites were linzer tarts and rugelach. Those are two staples of the product line, Stein says, though the lineup changes frequently because of the seasons and holiday calendar.
For another reason, Stein has the training and experience to make or bake just about anything. She attended Johnson & Wales University where she studied culinary arts, specializing in baking and pastry. She also has many years of experience in the restaurant, catering and event businesses.
“I’ve done it all,” she told GMW, and invites clients to let her know about special requests or customized products they might want, whether for small orders or large events. Stein’s role often goes beyond the dessert tray to consulting on event planning, wherever a client might feel uncertain or need help with design or coordination.
Stein is a relative newcomer to Wilton, having moved here just two years ago. Her blended family with husband Frank Coppola includes four children between ages 9 and 14.
She is eager to make connections here and enjoys the relationships that come with the business.
She wears her heart on her sleeve, and not just when it comes to her grandmother. “I’m an open book,” she told GMW. “I’m a huge empath. I want to make people happy. I love being part of their celebrations.”
Stein recently thanked customers on social media for the business success during the recent Valentine’s Day occasion. “We were able to reach over 70 orders, spreading love to new and old friends, family and coworkers,” she posted on Facebook. She also thanked husband Frank Coppola (a reliable taste tester) and sister Rebecca Rihn (who helps in the shipping department) for “being on my team and helping to bring smiles to all of our clients.”
The business had a soft launch during the fall of 2020, and it is evolving quickly. Stein is pleased with the branding and logo that was finalized in November. The Pearls Facebook group now has nearly 600 members. A website with an ordering platform will be online very soon.
Don’t be surprised if you see a Pearls retail storefront in the not-too-distant future. Stein has a vision for the atmosphere she wants to create, which includes using some of her grandmother’s pieces for function and display. She is also considering adding savory items to the lineup.
For now, the best way to reach Stein is via the Pearls Facebook group (Messenger) or by phone, 516.965.3607.